I’ve been working on campus carry, really, since 2007. In 2008 I was forced to write some words, in order to get the preemption bill passed, that recognized the right of the universities to regulate firearms on their campuses. I have felt shitty about that since then. The best thing about S1254 (besides adding one more blade to the swiss army knife-like enhanced license) is that the language I wrote in 2008 is repealed. My sin was washed away today.
There is really a lot less than meets the eye to S1254. The colleges and universities were never granted authority to do something that was really none of their business in the first place and they didn’t even bother to provide any security to make sure that their policy was followed. The institutions pretended they had the authority to adopt policies banning guns. They were never willing to negotiate with people who felt they should be allowed to have a choice to carry a concealed weapon while on campus; they thought they could win through sheer bluster as they had before, and this is what they got for their arrogance. The people of Idaho and the legislature have decided that they want uniform firearms rules across the state. The private non-criminal behavior of adults who choose a means to defend themselves against rape, robbery, etc. is no more a legitimate concern of college administrators than it is of city or county governments. One final thought: If the universities were truly committed to making their campuses gun free zones why haven’t any of them deployed metal detectors and the whole panoply of security we are familiar with at the airport and other secured locations? They knew how to truly banish guns if they had wanted to and yet they chose to protect their campuses from the “menace” of firearms with a piece of paper that only the law-abiding would respect.